5 Necessities for Serenity Gathering (Or Any Other Camping Festival!)

Written by Mitchell Aaron Gross

With festival season right around the corner the staff over at Festival Squad has put together 5 necessities for any multiday camping festival. This list has been refined over multiple multi-day festivals as well as dozens of camping trips. Stay tuned for a packing list of everything we’re bringing to Serenity Gathering!


  1. Water: And I’m not talking about a bottle or a gallon of water. we’re talking about enough water to be self sufficient for at least 48 hours. The last thing we want from any Festivals Squad reader is someone’s health to be in danger and that starts with proper hydration. Instead of being wasteful and buying pr- filled gallons, you can buy a reusable 5 gallon BPA free water jug for under $20 at any REI or Walmart location. These can be filled at most gas stations or supermarkets on your way to an event.
  2. Protection from the elements: We all have smartphones and the weather is only a swipe away… there’s no longer any excuse for not being prepared! Water, jackets, and a sleeping bag might seem like rudimentary items which is exactly why it’s second on our list. That’s not to say that you can’t look attractive. Whatever outfit you spent 3 months preparing great, but it is important everyone returns from the festival safely and we see you at the next one.
  3. External phone charger: While you might not have a problem charging your phone at some larger festivals, you’ll probably have a hard time charging your phone at a medium or smaller size festival. Buy a portable phone charger and you and your fellow festival squad members will thank us later. Even if you’re the “put my phone on airplane mode and unplug mannnn”, you’ll still want to use your device to take photos, exchange contact information with new friends, and check your list of set times. External chargers come in all shapes and sizes but you shouldn’t spend more than $30. The great thing about a purchase likes this is that you’ll surprise yourself with how often you may use it just as a way to get away from a wall outlet.
  4. Headlamp: I hope you’re excited to see the Milky Way and night sky at Serenity Gathering this weekend because that and the moon will most likely be the extent of lighting you have back at your camp. While your friends struggle using their cellphones as flashlights, you can be the festival pro and have a headlamp handy. In an effort to minimize waste and in the spirit of “pack in, pack out” we prefer the USB rechargeable headlamps. They make it simple to keep things charged and are environmentally friendly.
  5. Sleeping Bag: While your average $45 Walmart sleeping bag might suffice for a festival in the middle of the summer, you’ll want to invest in something a little nicer if you plan on anything more than casual car camping. With sleeping bags you’ll have two options regarding insulation, synthetic and down. Each of these insulation methods has different tradeoffs but generally, a down sleeping bag will be more expensive than a synthetic one. We suggest looking to your local Craigslist as you can often find high quality sleeping bags with little use for a fraction of the price. The best thing about buying a quality sleeping bag is that it will last you for a very long time and you will have it for future festivals and camping trips.

Anything else to add to our small camping survival list? Feel free to add below, and we’ll see you at Serenity this weekend!

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